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Grateful Dead Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on 1979-08-12

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Grateful Dead Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on 1979-08-12

Topics Live concert

Promised Land, They Love Each Other, Mama Tried-> Mexicali Blues, Peggy-O, Lazy Lightning-> Supplication, Brown Eyed Women, Looks Like Rain, Althea-> Passenger China Cat Sunflower> I Know You Rider, Lost Sailor, Don't Ease Me In, Estimated Prophet> Eyes of the World> Drums> Space> Not Fade Away> Black Peter> Around & Around, E: U.S. Blues

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Location Morrison, CO

Source Soundboard
Lineage Master Soundboard Cassette > Reel to Reel > PCM > CDR
Taped by
Transferred by Scott Clugston


Master Soundboard Cassette > Reel to Reel > PCM > CDR; CD Mastering, Eac'ed & Shn'ed by Scott Clugston; to fungus & abgd via Charlie Connor


Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 9, 2016
Subject: Beloved Venue

This was a one-off; due to a storm, the next two nights were moved to Denver.

First Set. the winner is a very uptempo Brown Eyed. Althea is only the 3rd one and they bail - no solo. Passenger used to be good; this was around the time they couldn't get it back, eventually dropping it.

Second Set. A little rough until partway though Rider. I appreciate Lost Sailor but this one's not memorable. Estimated is great (it was used on the So Many Roads box). It's 13 minutes of very 79-style, with a long middle groove, and then into an equally nice Eyes, which may be the most uptempo ever? Even after pitch correction it's a roadrunner. The only thing keeping it from A+ territory is that Bobby's flat. A decent enough NFA has a unique stop-start jam. Around improves in the second half. The stumbly encore is cut on the SBD.

Red Rocks was the most beloved venue to many heads and it was an absolute blast (for Dead shows anyway), but overall this is on the bottom tier of the 20 shows there (it ain't 8/12/87, 7/27/82, 7/7/78, 7/8/78, 9/7/83 or 9/6/85), albeit bottom tier at Red Rocks is still an average show. Not that there's no highlights, it's just quite uneven. Brent sounds more comfortable here than the Oakland shows the week before.

1st Set:  C+
2nd Set: C
Overall: 3 Stars

Brown-Eyed Women - maybe best of '79; the SBD (I patched with the AUD)
Estimated - the song this show is best known for
Eyes - for uptempo fans

Sources: The SBD (updated with clugston.tetzeli.fix-9288.35038) runs a full halftone too fast (needs -3%), making Bobby sound like Minnie Mouse. There is also some buzzing from harmonic or RF interference. The AUDs are the current better choice (unless you correct the pitch). Best AUD is the Menke.107166.
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 6, 2016
Subject: --
First set works; aside from Jer getting rather lost on Althea there is some incredible guitar work and playing throughout.

From Estimated on the 2nd set is white-lightning hot. Ive always found '79 Dead post Keith best heard from the fall tour on, but there are some gems throughout the rather neglected summer shows.

If youre going to hear this show, get the patched board.
Reviewer: Petronius Jablonski - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 1, 2014
Subject: “Whereof one cannot speak, he should remain silent.”
What makes this Estimated so killer? Weir’s casual delivery sounds more like a buddy sharing enthusiasms than a messenger of day-glow doom. But then the Jam jams, persisting and escalating with mellow dignity and the enthusiasms appear in a different light, cold and austere.
Reviewer: Mark Scalise - - April 16, 2012
Subject: wow!
The Denver paddy wagon story is the coolest.thing.ever
Reviewer: Greyfoldedsom - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 2, 2009
Subject: Big Mac Express to Jerry World
One of many reasons Red Rocks was so special was their policy of admitting those who had used public transportation or had been dropped off BEFORE those who came in cars. So on day 2 we were among about 200 'pedestrians' being led by security guys in golf carts along the lane from the main road up to the amphitheatre, an hour before the lots opened for cars. Half way up the lane..under lowering clouds and cold drizzlin rain, security informed us that the show had been moved to McNichols Arena, 15 miles east toward Denver. Well, this created a bit of a problem for those on after standing around for a while like deadheads we began making our way en masse the 2 miles toward I-70. Then out of the fog we saw approaching very slowly a line of Denver Police paddy wagons & busses..a dozen or so..coming at us with emergency lights whirling..the first wtf moment of the day. But their intentions were made clear when the lead paddy wagon made a startling PA announcement.."ALL ABOARD THE BIG MAC EXPRESS TO JERRY WORLD". Soon all 200 of us were being ferried along the freeway packed into police vehicles..certain this was some kind of cruel joke but just as certain it wasn't. Arriving at McNichols the parade of paddy wagons loaded with deadheads parked among the circle of charter buses...Jerry World!!..and began to unload. I'll never forget the faces of those who witnessed hundreds of kids pouring from the wagons..the second big wtf moment of the day. And iv'e never before or since seen so many cops get so many hugs from so many deadheads. Show 3 was rained out as well..but we all had fun at Big Mac. Just before the encore at show 3 Weir said 'Thanks..maybe if we're all real good we can play at Red Rocks next year & it won't rain.' It was 3 years before GD returned to Red Rocks for some very good shows..and it of course rained.
Reviewer: Augy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 24, 2008
Subject: Glad they made a board of this one!
I was taping during the 1st set and got busted by an obviously ignorant Red Rocks security employee who confiscated my equipment. So what was I to do, other that go up to the front, being consoled by a nice "Fenario" and as usual hot "Lazy Lightin"? Not to mention the "Looks like Rain" for the impending weather that later manifested itself heavily during the 2nd set; the very new "Althea", a fun "Passenger" which was entering its best but last period of performances i.e. during the early Brent era; yet obviously bummed that I wasn't recording those tunes!
These all amounted to to what turned out to be, (since I didn't get around to, (yet I almost did), seeing them in 1973-4), one of the only 2 or 3 times I ever saw them play 13 tunes in the 1st set! I only saw them do 12 a couple of times as well.
However little did I know, until the break that shortly after I got busted, the security guy came back to my original location to return my gear so I could continue, since apparently some kind soul with the band's crew said "don't worry about it" and to give back the gear! Remember this is 5 years before recording was officially allowed! Well since I was not to be found, they left my gear with the nice folks around where I was, who kindly continued the rest of the 1st set and barely missed much!
But since the board tape came out I recorded over my master so I don't recall just how much exactly was missing, yet I believe they taped Fenario onward, and obviously I continued during the rainy 2nd set during which they played the then, (like "Althea"), very new "Lost Sailor". Only in Oakland, had those been played prior to this, I think?
Weir also did some nice slide work during "Not Fade Away". And the "Estimated Prophet" from this show was released as part of the "So Many Roads" collection Album! God bless the idiot who fell off the rocks on the stage right side, to his doom before the show even started! I didn't actually see him fall, but I can remember them trying to convince him to get down to no avail!

San Diego
Reviewer: spacecowboy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 16, 2007
Subject: Garcia's high pitched 1979 singing voice- what up wit dat???
From 78 to 79 Garcia's voice changed- sounds like it is affected by helium. Did his larygitis cause it? Anyone know? This show is hot but Garcia is awful on Althea. It is the worst version ever. Otherwise Est>Eyes is great and so is China Rider. Love Boards from Red Rocks. Super crispy!
Reviewer: buscameby - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 15, 2007
Subject: Promised land a comin!
has anone else noticed that a 1st set Promised land leads to a great spacey 2nd.

Atleast for me if I got a Promised land I went somewhere extrodinary in the 2nd. This nite was no exception! The Eyes was the portal to a differnt world.

I only missed one Rocks show after moving to Denver to go to college in 77', it truely is a portal to some extrodinary experiences.

And I know why Phil loves the place so much, Happy 67th today my brother!
Reviewer: kuu - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 10, 2006
Subject: kuu
Reading the reviews I would like to clarify once and for all about the weather. I sat next to a gentleman from eat more fish productions who taped the show. We were sitting about halfway from the stage. First set had some windy points that were reflected on my audience tape. During china cat-rider I don't recall flashes from the sky only from the stage. During the estimated eyes transition it started to drizzle. The reason I can remember this, years later, is because on my eat more fish recording the taper, experienced with indoor recording, was confused with the water drops on the microphone. He wiped them off. This comes through on the tape and the dead, has if on cue, begin eyes of the world. After that burst of drizzle it stopped raining until after the show and I remember that because my tent was filled with water the next morning. thanks archive for giving me a soundboard version of a nice evening. This show is enjoyable for fine Brent moments throughout.
Reviewer: Daveznothere - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 9, 2006
Subject: It's in the Rocks
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is not just a stadium, it is a natural acoustic bowl, an instrument of sorts, carved out of red Jurassic sandstone, uplifted from the plains by the Rocky Mountains. The Dead used this instrument to take us to places we'd never been, all while those thunderheads lit up in the distance behind the stage. The air was heavy with monsoon moisture and the sound moved through you in waves, you felt it in your very core. Sure, maybe the first set was a little rough, with Jerry's missed lyrics and Bob's hoarse throat. But from Don't Ease on they took us along for a wild ride. Estimated>Eyes>Drums was everything from lyrical to earth shaking to out of this worldly. Nice NFA>Black Peter too.
Thank you Archive for preserving these memories.
Reviewer: L. Rosley - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2006
Subject: Excellent
What a second set. I don't like too many Eyes after 1974, but this one is great. The smooth, morphing transitions, between Estimated, Eyes, Drums, Space, Not Fade Away, Black Peter are fantastic. This is something that Dead had in the 60's and early-to-mid '70's, but was gone by '77, (except for Scarlet>Fire). Here, this set is like one long jam, with vocals and some inventive material in between.

The first set is also good. Jerry cooks in Brown-Eyed Women, and China Cat is a treat. Fine vocals throughout, tight playing, and the band members are in sync with each other. And, Jerry was having a good night, with fast playing (smoking on Not Fade Away).

The sound quality is fine. Some problems on the first two songs, but it clears up after that.
Reviewer: jratner - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 12, 2006
Subject: What a scene!
My first and only time to Red Rocks on the way to California. I was totally overwhelmed by the scene. Epic..beautiful....mystic....incredible!

What sticks in my mind was the Est.>Eyes and the amazing jam out of Eyes into drums. If you do anything, stream that! it's out there!!
Reviewer: jackstraw86 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 15, 2005
Subject: stereo?
After reading the reviews, I can't see where anybody commented much about the mix. The sound is pretty crispy, but Phil is not coming through much (yet anyway, I'm at the LLR). Also, it's not in stereo. Has anybody else noticed this? Is this something that might have happened during the conversion process somewhere? I'm going to go back and make sure I didn't introduce this at my end. Just wondering....
Reviewer: BCP_10261960 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2005
Subject: My Seminal Dead Show-biased Review
Well, what can I say. This was THE dead show for me aside from Radio City Oct 29,1980 when I sat next to Peter Paul and Mary and toasted Hawaiin from Dan Healy with old Puff the Magic Dragon man himself this was by far the most explosive Dead Show in my life.
I was out in Colorado for the summer of '79 working as a Roofer in Fort Collins when the Dead Show was announced on the Radio- being in Colorado probably improved my chances of nailing seats as Red Rocks is usually a tough venue to land a seat- had only seen Dead ONCE before and did not peak at that show in Binghamton, NY 1979- May- I think it was Brent's first show in Binghamton.

So, there was tons of great Red Dragon floating around - a beautiful girl painted my forehead with a STEAL YOUR FACE- boy did they ever- and the Red Dragon was WAY stronger than it should have been- one would have been enough but I took two- so my review is a bit from the clouds and yet here it is 26 years later and its still probably the defining moment of my life- I mean its not me but it is one of the PEAK memories of my life of 45 years that Apogee so to speak of my human experience- I remember the show beginning with a guy- Bill Walton in a robe and a crown of roses perhaps- not sure- I think- coming out and handing out Roses and people beginning to Dance in a Circle like Square Dancing- perhaps to They Love Each Other- the Rocks bring out that Caveman Dead sort of feel to a show. Lazy Lightening may not have been great to all who know it but its the only time I saw the Dead with Jerry do it and the words hit home..

I recall that I was seated next to a guy with a FULL SKULL outfit on and GRIM REAPER costume- man talk about luck or what, did not make for the most relaxing trip early on staring at DEATH- I was all of 5 rows back from Garcia- Phil Jackson was a row in Front of me- I remember at some point in the show- later in popping into some type of Ectoplasm-asking the guy next to me "what is that" and him saying " I don't know"- it never happened to me again but it was like a layer or electromagnetic field surrounded my body and extended it out about a foot with sort of tentacles as I could feel outside the boundaries of my physical form- but I could feel me and the audience connected like Grapes/Luminous Eggs as Castaneda would say or whatever...then I recall having group mind experiences where it was uncomfortable having skeletons from my mind open for ALL TO SEE- a wheel spun and it would land on an audience members FACE like Roulette- OH NO- its MY FACE THAT COMES UP ON THE WHEEL AND EVERYONE CAN READ MY MIND, I am a naughty boy... and finally giving into it- well anyway needless to say when I gave in it just sort of unraveled my soul into the music and I recall Garcia's guitar just sort of emptying me like in the SONG Rubin and Cherise- it was as though I were playing the Band. The drums were literally splitting the sky open..IT DID RAIN but it was a slight dust and it WAS when they played "Look's like Rain"- Now I know this is a very trippy far out review but its the only show where I ever really was not in any control of my faculties which is probably why ever since then I was a permanent Dead Head preaching the Gospel of Jerry, Bob, Phil, Mickey, Bill and Brent.

I have listened to this show several times since and I do not recall my peak moments matching the peak moments of the concert but I do recall an extreme Terrapin Moment during the concert where for a moment it seemed we went outside time..I believe it was during the drum solo...I was 18 at this show- I had never experienced group mind before and what a perfect venue for it. Dennis McNally writes of a "Virtual Hyman" that exists as a barrier in each persons mind- well this show popped my Cherry and I have never needed acid since to make myself able to open my crown Chakra when I hear Jerry- nuf said- the show was 10 stars on a scale of 1-5...I did not realize a guy fell of the rocks except all my Buddies snuck in when the guy fell and so a lot of people were happy because they got to see part of the show due to the unfortunate event- the idiot that said it was the highlight of the show was NOT at the same show I was at. He must have been in the lot listening and snuck in during that event...Anyway, listen to it carefully- RedRocks is vibrationally perfect and consciousness also flows with acoustics- it is the ultimate venue- never saw them there again- never will except maybe with Warren Haynes but doubt it. Seen 100 shows about but this will always be my mindblower...In an age where religion is spoon fed to the masses, I know I was sure there was a God that night- it was not the band but the band guided me to a place beyond time that I knew I could return to when I leave this sometimes awful planet and life here..AUM

BCP_10261960 - Deadhead since 1979

P.S. The guy seated next to me who was dressed as Grim Reaper I owe a debt of gratitude too as he probably forced me to "get off the stage" and give in to the music as I was fighting it. He told me after the show that Walton or somebody told him that Jerry "really dug the guy dressed as Reaper"- I think what Jerry dug was my terrified face tripping my balls off looking like the Reaper was scaring the shit out of me- Old Jer was perverse like that-loved weirdness- bet it was true.
P.S.S. Bill Walton also picked up a friend- Eugene I recall his name- he was there with a pile of folks I hitched a ride from Fort Collins with and Eugene got tossed off the stage by Old Bill Walton- I am fairly sure Kesey and some of the Pranksters made this show as Red Rocks alwasy rated a wild guest list..

Sorry for the literary slant rather than just a review but Garcia always said he created Spontaneous art- more than just music that consciosness was as much a part of a Dead Show as the music- and so I tried to show the fabric of my pinnacle Cherry popping Dead would not be the only one but as they say- you never forget your first..
Reviewer: eyezoftheworld - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 5, 2005
Subject: i know you arent supposed to
this show is pretty cool. the red rocks shows i have heard from most jam bands wind up being pretty damn good... just like deer creek... for the most part... but, anyways, i really have a problem. i know i am not supposed to comment on issues pertaining to other reviewers, but... honestly, i think it NEEDS to be said. ANYONE, saying that someone falling off the rocks during the show was the highlight... can not be someone in the right state of mind... and most certainly is not someone i would want to associate myself with. i am hoping his little sister took him to this show and he isnt a deadhead... if so... that is just embarassing and gives all dead fans a bad name.... oh, and yeah, the show isnt half bad. EYES!
Reviewer: Mars245 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 17, 2005
Subject: Red Rock rocks..
Wished I could have made these venues ...but alas wasn't "baptised" 'till 1985 New Years. The Estimated/Eyes alone are the standouts ... crisp, high energy, adding to the image that RedRocks -->Rocks , and did that night with these two . Nice recording, fast tempo...lots of lightning tinkles & bling-blings from Brent , fantastic tremolos and matching noodles from Jerry, booms & whams from Phil...and the little drummer boys were all over it, and went "native" on the following drums. Going for that "thunder between the mountains of your Mind " effect !

Not for the faint of heart...

Reviewer: scamp - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 28, 2005
Subject: I forgot about the guy falling off the rocks
I was at this show. I remember lightning out over the plains to the east during Rider, and it seemed like the breeze kicked up right around the "cool Colorado rain" line. Of course it always seems that way at a Dead show. We managed to avoid all the people rousting everyone out of the parking lot and the park after the show and then hitching a ride to McNichols the next morning. I got a ride at the I-70 east on ramp (maybe it was 6th Ave.) from some folks in old, old greyhound bus, (I don't think it was a grey rabbit) and they had a wood stove going inside the bus, nice and toasty on a cold morning. The next two shows were at McNichols and if they thought the freak show was bad in and around Morrison they were really nervous about people lined up clear out to Federal the next morning. It wasn't clear that the Friday show was going to be at McNichols again or back at Red Rocks. I thumbed all the way back to Morrison after hearing they were going to play there that night only to find out it was at McNichols again after all. But people were cool back then about giving you a ride. This review isn't about the music but it is about the 'show'
Reviewer: vambo - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 24, 2005
Subject: It DID NOT rain at this show
I was at this show and sad but true the IDIOT falling from the rocks was the highlight. The Deads performance was mediocore with not much fire, then again it was the first night of the series but I'll still rate it a 3. IT DID NOT RAIN AT THIS SHOW, it rained the following day. That's why it was moved to McNichols arena in Denver.
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 3, 2005
Subject: Takes a little while to get going
They seem a little wobbly at first and there and lazy lightning sounds like it is done by a cover band. Althea jerry spaces words and bobby off as well - that said, est>eyes is truly classic with some really really trippy parts to it. Whatever they were on in the first set seems to have worn off the secnd and they start kicking butt...
Reviewer: flashbackmagic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 19, 2004
Subject: .
Reviewer: dirty jev-o - favoritefavorite - October 3, 2004
Subject: bad buzz
the playing is great....buzzing on the board tape is pretty bad....interfering with my show!!!!!!!!
Reviewer: dcain - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 11, 2004
Subject: Nice sound
The jam beyond the Estimated verses are led by Brent's jangly piano, a relatively rare occurrence. Excellent sound overall, good separation, Weir's vocal, JG and BM instruments generally most prominent in the mix. The last two minutes the drummers put on a fast boil for Garcia's noodles. A smooth transition to a fast-paced Eyes follows. By the second break, Garcia is hard pressed to keep up with Weir and Brent. At the eight minute mark (this is a 19 minute Eyes), it becomes a flat out jam, all traces of the verse vanish, and it could go anywhere....
Reviewer: bisq - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 31, 2004
Subject: Estimated>Eyes
This show is one of the reasons I love 1979 shows so much. Although the selist looks average, the playing is very strong. Of particular interest is the fabulous Estimated>Eyes. The Estimated is well played with a nice jam. In fact, it was good enough to merit inclusion on the So Many Roads box set. The eyes, however, is out of this world...literally!! Some really crazy deep space jamming here (see also playin from 11-6-79), it is one of my favorite jams of the year...Not for the faint of heart!!
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